Saturday, February 12, 2005

Writers' Keepers

I call it a desk, but it's really just a Queen Anne writing table with one shallow drawer in the middle. The drawer pull is antiqued brass, in the shape of a teacup, and when I lean forward, the pesky thing digs into my belly.

Of course, if I sat up straight instead of slumping, that wouldn't be a problem.

Let's open the drawer: It's lined with the same rose-patterened, scented paper from Crabtree & Evelyn that I have used to cover the bulletin board here in my home office. I enjoy seeing the little pink roses peep at me from between all of the useful items in the drawer.

Here's what I'm looking at right now:

Two espresso-flavored chocolate truffles (which won't be there
much longer).

Three small bottles of soap bubbles. (Wonderfully conducive
to daydreaming, the bubbles were favors from weddings we
attended last summer.)

A tablet of pink, heart-shaped Post-it notes and a handful of
colorful paperclips on a bone-china saucer.

A small stack of paper napkins in a beautiful floral pattern (to
park under the occasional shortbread cookie that finds its way
to my desk at teatime).

A rose-scented votive candle. (Makes the drawer smell

A tube of Crabtree & Evelyn's rose-scented hand cream. (Are
you seeing a pattern here? Yes, I'm crazy in love with roses.)

A ballpoint pen disguised as a lipstick. (Every romance writer
needs one!)

A slender case containing a pair of red-framed reading glasses,
in case I get old suddenly. (I've tried them, but don't need
them quite yet.)

A sparkly, egg-size chip of granite from the summit of Mt.
Owens in Colorado.

The usual assortment of pens; scissors, tape, calculator,

A stack of pretty notecards.

Several packets of Crest White Strips, which I keep forgetting
to use. . .obviously.

. . .and lots of other odds and ends.

Why am I sharing this? Because I want to give you a tip. Whether you're working downtown or at home, try to surround yourself with little things that give you a lift; things that make you remember your blessings. Just carve out a bit of space, even if it's just a desk drawer, and make it uniquely your own, filling it with any little thing that makes you smile. I believe personalizing our spaces in this way can't fail to feed our imaginations and aid the creative process.

Maybe some of you would like to share what you have done to make your own spaces -- even the tiniest ones, like desk drawers -- cheer you up and encourage your imagination to run free.


HerWryness said...

Brenda- I love it!! I am sending your post to my mums who is moving into her newly remodeled home office. She's wild about green, lime, honeydew. She worked in the education industry for many years and is considered the Bulletin Board Queen. Consider it flattering, won't you, that she will probably use your scented drawer liner idea. Now, back to work.

Anonymous said...

Hi Brenda,

What a lovely idea. Just thinking about doing something like this for myself makes me smile. For the past few years I have been living out of a suitcase, with nothing pretty or personal around me. I never used to read interior decoration books, but now I find I grab one to browse through every time I visit a bookshop. Just looking at the pictures somehow helps soothe my longing for a welcoming personal space!

But you have given me a better idea. Collect a few beautiful belongings into a not too big box I can access any time. The scented candle is at the top of the list!

Thank you for sharing, and have a beautiful weekend :-)

Danielle C.

Brenda Coulter said...

Your Wryness, I am ashamed to admit that I am very easily flattered.

Actually, I started to photograph my bulletin board, but realized just in time that I'd be posting several authors' home phone numbers on the internet. Never mind!

Danielle, I love the idea of a special box. That would be great for a college kid or a military family or for missionaries or anybody else who is faced with the challenge of making a home in temporary quarters.

Small Blue Thing said...

Hi again, Brenda.

I suppose you all know something about Feng Shui, an ancient chinese art inspired in Chan/Zen Buddhism. As Chan inspires Compassion and Harmony, Feng Shui School tries to make harmony at home to inspire harmony into yourself. Of course, it's a sort of odl superstition around, but it does work in a practical sense _and of course it can be inspirational, if practitioners can separate inspiration and just 'chinese decoration'.

And you've done! You have a good Feng Shui sensitivity _and I've remembered I do need to get some lots of papers out of my work table.

Blue Thing

Angie Poole said...

Gads! You would have to ask. Well, I have a sludge-filled sunflower coffee mug, a tube of Carmex, and an ashtray.

We do have a couple of things in common. I also have a purple Lexar jump drive and a rock. My rock is heart-shaped. I found it in a flower bed at the Denver ACRW conference.

By the ashtray.

Brenda Coulter said...

Blue thing, I don't practice Feng Shui, but in the past few years I've seen a lot of newspaper and magazine articles about it.

A jump drive and a rock, huh, Angie? I think we have a lot more in common than that. ;-)

Chris said...

Rocks & Jumpdrives, we should start a club.

My rock is a smooth chunk of granite I cleared off a trail in Yosemite (just doing my part for my fellow-hikers ... now, how should I reward myself?).

The Jumpdrives are 64MB and 128MB varieties (I keep them in a Harry Potter Jelly-Belly drawstring pouch). I must admit the Jumpdrive was the first thing my eye was drawn to in the picture, Brenda.

My PC workspace is cluttered with superhero (and villain) action figures, primarily Rhino from Spider-Man, the Powerbook doesn't yet have a dedicated workspace.

Rock on & Geek out.

--Chris (dFm)

Brenda Coulter said...

Okay, let's start from here: Does anybody not have a rock in his or her desk?

Anonymous said...

I don't have any in my desk, but got a lot in my head! ;-D

Heather Diane Tipton said...

I have a rock on my desk!!! *g*